The South Korean city of Seoul plans to eliminate coin boxes on some buses in a bid to promote electronic payments

More And more South Koreans are using electronic wallets, accelerating the process of going cashless.

Xinhua News Agency reported recently,South Korea’s Seoul city government said Tuesday it will remove coin boxes from some buses on a trial basis starting in October, in preparation for the introduction of a digital fare system.

The coin boxes will be removed from 171 buses on eight routes operated by the two companies between October and March, Yonhap news agency reported, citing city officials. Meanwhile, QR codes for mobile payments will be displayed at stations so that passengers can purchase digital bus passes. Seoul’s municipal government hopes the move will help reduce cash transactions, thereby reducing the risk of a new crown virus or other virus epidemic, while relieving drivers of the pressure to manage coin boxes and further improving driving safety.

At the moment, people can choose to use cash or credit cards to take buses in Seoul. If the passenger uses cash, the driver can give change.

About 7,000 buses are currently in operation in Seoul, of which 2.4 percent will take part in the test. After the trial period is over, the government will evaluate the results and decide whether to expand it to the whole city.

According to the data, the use of cash for bus tickets in Seoul fell from 5 percent in 2010 to 1 percent in 2019, and then to 0.8 percent last year. That is expected to fall to 0.1 per cent over the next five years.

At present, the mainstream payment methods in South Korea mainly include local credit card payment, online bank transfer and various mobile payment apps.

Mobile payments in South Korea’s domestic market are currently popular with Samsung Pay and KAKAO PAY and Naver Pay, while the Government of South Korea has launched Zero Pay.

Of course, these mobile payment apps are mostly used by young people, and most South Koreans pay with paper money, credit cards and bank transfers.